Standard & Poor's

Why Credit Rating Agencies Go Easy
December 02, 2011

The Dodd-Frank law requires that credit rating agencies--Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch, etc.--report to the Securities and Exchange Commission whenever an analyst takes a job from a company that he or she helped rate. The revolving door between rating agencies and rated companies has been cited as one reason why the rating agencies were so reluctant to downgrade banks overly dependent on shaky subprime mortgages and exotic derivatives before the house of cards came down in 2008. But until now it was hard to know exactly how many people passed through that revolving door. Now we know.

Why The Debt Ceiling Crisis Will Happen Again
August 11, 2011

In a nutshell, because it worked: Asked about the S&P assessment, 71 percent of Americans called it a fair one. On the blame front, 36 percent say the GOP is culpable for the downgrade, 31 percent blame Obama and his fellow Democrats and 22 percent say it’s both sides equally. So first the House Republicans held the debt ceiling hostage. It's utterly clear that this which caused S&P to downgrade U.S. debt: A top official at rating firm Standard & Poor's said Friday the company's decision to downgrade U.S.

BP And Our Kick-Ass President
June 21, 2010

My hunch is that the hemorrhaging of oil in the Gulf of Mexico won't end until...well, until it ends. By which I mean until the last drop rises to the surface and there is no more below. No, I don't know when that will be, and neither apparently do the hot shot execs at what President Obama (in another swipe at London) called British Petroleum or. for that matter, the president himself. Of course, no one really does.

Three Cheers For Barney Frank; Two Cheers For The Wall Street Journal
December 23, 2009

These cheers are about an issue on which Barney Frank and the editors of The Wall Street Journal agree. And I agree, too. On most matters of high finance I'm more on Barney's side than that of Paul Gigot or my old friend Daniel Henninger. But this question is less a matter of politics than of honor and honesty. Some of you may recall my own idée fixe on what an editorial in Wednesday's Journal called the "credit-ratings racket" practiced by three portentous companies: Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch.

Bubble Bath
May 24, 2004

Investors go gaga over the company.